Kid-Friendly Solar STEM Projects!
October 14, 2020
This school year is looking different for families all over the world. With at-home and hybrid learning becoming the new normal, we wanted to help out by sharing a couple of fun solar STEM lessons to keep things interesting.
1. Converting Sunlight Into Heat
How do we heat up water fastest?
3 clear cups (all the same)
2 sheets of white paper
1 plastic bag to cover one of the cups
Fill each cup with the same amount of water at cool or room temperature.
In a sunny place, set down the two sheets of white paper. Set one cup on each piece of white paper (the third cup should not be on a piece of white paper). Cover one of the cups on the white paper with the plastic bag.
Let the cups sit for an hour. Ask everyone to predict which cup will heat up fastest and why.
Once the hour is up, measure the temperature of the water in each cup and see the results!
2. Absorbing and Reflecting Heat
Now that we know the sun heats things up, let’s see what else we can do with that sun power by making a solar oven!
Tortilla chips and shredded cheese
Cover the inside of the cardboard box with tinfoil. Place the black paper on the bottom of the tinfoil-covered box.
On top of the black paper, place a paper plate (also covered in tinfoil) carrying tortilla chips topped with shredded cheese. Then, cover the part of the box where the plate is sitting with plastic wrap. Leave in a sunny spot for 30 minutes, and then come back to see the results!
Once the cheese is melted, break out some salsa and eat up! They may not be the best nachos in Texas, but they’re made with love by you and the sun!
Also, make sure to check out our very own Ryan Albert giving a solar demonstration to a third-grade class — a super-cool example of how light makes power! To try this at home, you can order your own solar rover kit on Amazon.com.
We wish everyone a great start to the school year!